Let's be real. Some days are rough. Like hair pulling, screaming, ugly face crying kind of rough. I don't see any way around those days... you know... the days where you question every single thing that you are doing as a mother. But thankfully the sun sets and then rises on a new day. And that day will definitely be better, right?
In my experience, simplifying life allows you to experience more of it. What are you willing to let go of? The answer will be different for each of us, but deep down we know that we can't do it all. If you are feeling bogged down, take heart. From one mom to another, you are killin' it. You are workin' it in your own way, and your children adore you (or maybe they hate you today, but tomorrow will be better FOR SURE). Other moms look at you and want to be like you; they draw strength from you. I know that, like me, you loved your first child more than you thought was humanly possible, and you thought "the heart can't love another human being in this way. It isn't possible!" And then baby #2 came along and your heart instantly expanded to make room for that child as if it was the only. And it just keeps happening! There are many things that solidify my faith in God, but the human heart is one of them.
So... back to simplifying. I dug deep into my soul for this one and it has been a process. Yes, I threw away toys, limited screen time, started homeschooling, started more traditions, played with the kids outside more, etc. Those were all lovely changes for my children, but not much changed for me. I still felt more stress and less joy than I wanted to. I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I was waiting for the light bulb to turn on! It took me longer than I care to admit to figure out what changes I needed to make, but that's okay, because I figured it out! My discovery was that simplifying motherhood came in the form of self care. I started taking better care of me; I took time for me... filling my cup. Waking up before the kids to meditate, pray, and devote some time to personal growth has been crucial for me. It has made me more mindful, more grateful. I am more patient, more spontaneous, and less stressed. I still experience stress, but I handle it better. I let go of it faster. I give myself more tasks to do in a day then I should, but I have let go of the rigid order that used to rule me, and have let life happen as it happens. Sometimes, I don't want to stop washing the dishes to read a book to the toddler that is quite literally hanging from my waist, but I am always glad that I did. Yes, my children need to learn about patience and problem solving, but at this stage in my life, I am learning much more about patience and problem solving than they are. I have realized that I can't teach them things that I am not willing to work on myself. How can I teach them about kindness if I don't feel kindness in my heart? How can I teach them about forgiveness if I beat myself up every day over every little thing? How can I teach them about loving and experiencing the best of life If I'm just surviving every day?
For me, simplifying motherhood wasn't about what I thought it was. It was actually about me.
Andrea worked as a Registered Nurse in a Pediatric Emergency Department for 10 years before leaving to be a full-time/homeschooling Mommy to her three beautiful and crazy children.